¼cupcilantrofresh, leaves and stems, finely chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepperto taste
1teaspoonlime zest(zest lime before juicing)
¼cupfresh lime juiceabout two limes (± doesn't have to exact)
½teaspoonhoney(or granulated sugar)
½cupextra-virgin olive oil
Marinate the steak:
Lay the flank steak in a shallow ceramic or dish just large enough to hold the steak. Do not use metal; it can react with the acids in the marinade and impart off-flavor.
Sprinkle the steak directly with salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste.
Combine marinade ingredients and pour the marinade over the steak. Coat both sides of the meat well. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours. Turn the meat occasionally to ensure that the marinade touches as much of its surface area as possible.
Prep The Grill:
Prepare a charcoal grill for indirect heat, with charcoal on one side of the grill for high heat and a cooler side without hot charcoal.
Remove the grill grate and set it aside. Next, light the charcoal using a chimney starter and let them burn until they are covered with white ash. Pour the coals into the fire bed. Using long-handled utility tongs, spread the hot coals onto one side of the grill, leaving the remaining side cool with no coals.
Replace the grill grate and scrub the grill grate with a wire brush to clean it. Then, lightly rub the grill grate with paper towels coated with canola or vegetable oil.
Test the grill temperature. Hold your hand about 4 inches above the fire. If you can count only to 1 before pulling your hand away (very high heat), the coals are ready.
Grill the Carne Asada:
When the grill is ready, remove the steak from the marinade and let the excess marinade drip off. Discard the marinade. Place the steak over the hottest area of the grill. Be careful the oil will cause the grill to flame up. Allow a few flames to lick the meat and then cover. Grill the steak until the underside has seared (the moisture from the marinade prevents a dark brown surface crust from forming), about 3 to 5 minutes. Use the tongs to turn over the steak and grill until the other side is browned, about 5 more minutes for medium-rare.
Pull the flank or skirt steak out of the marinade. Use paper towels to pat the steak dry. Removing as much moisture as possible will give you a good sear and help keep the oil from spattering.
Preheat a heavy cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add a little oil to the pan, but not much so that it won’t spatter too much.
Add steak to the hot pan. Sear each side for 3 to 5 minutes on each side until a brown crust has formed.
Check the steak for doneness
Insert an instant-read thermometer horizontally into the center of the steak. At medium-rare, the thermometer should register 130 – 135 degrees F. If the steak is not ready, cover the grill, let it cook for 1 to 2 minutes, then test again. Remember, the meat’s temperature can rise even after it has left the grill, so keep that in mind.
Rest the Steak:
Transfer it to a carving board tent with foil and let it rest for 3 to 5 minutes. If cut too soon, the steak will not have its optimal juiciness, and the color inside will be uneven. This little siesta before serving allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat. The temperature of the steak will also rise about 5 degrees while resting.
Slice the Steak and Serve:
Position the steak on the carving board so that the long end is facing you and the direction of the muscle fibers runs horizontally. The meat’s fibers are referred to as the meat’s grain because they resemble a wood plank.Use a thin-bladed carving knife, place the knife perpendicular to the steak at a 45-degree angle, and cut the steak across the grain into thin slices about ⅛-inch thick. Cutting the meat this way shortens the long, tough muscle fibers and makes the meat easier to chew.Transfer the sliced steak to the warmed plates. Pour any juices from the board over the slices and serve immediately.
For super tender meat, whack the meat with a mallet a few times before adding it to the marinade.It's extremely important to use fresh limes for freshly squeezed lime juice. Freshly squeezed lime juice provides citric acid that aids in tenderizing the meat as well as flavor.
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